Baseball

A:

Americans began playing baseball in backyards and fields throughout America in the mid-1800s but started regarding the sport as the nation's favorite pastime in the 1920s, thanks to construction of large ballparks, radio and newspaper sports coverage, and a sense of pride in regional teams. The sport soon became popular in cities and rural areas alike. It also began attracting Americans of all demographics.

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  • What is the longest winning streak in Major League Baseball?

    Q: What is the longest winning streak in Major League Baseball?

    A: The record for the longest winning streak in Major League Baseball belongs to the 1916 New York Giants, who won 26 consecutive games. This streak, however, included a tie, which was not counted in the streak.
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  • Who is the only umpire to be banned from baseball?

    Q: Who is the only umpire to be banned from baseball?

    A: Dick Higham was the first and, as of 2015, only professional baseball umpire in the United States ever to be banned from the sport. This ban, which was handed down in 1882, ended a years-long career in professional baseball and came as a result of Higham's side career in game fixing, in which he would make bad calls for profit.
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  • Did Babe Ruth really call his shot in the 1932 World Series?

    Q: Did Babe Ruth really call his shot in the 1932 World Series?

    A: It's difficult to know exactly what legendary American baseball player Babe Ruth did with his bat when he stepped up to the plate during the third game of the 1932 World Series. Film evidence of the time shows Ruth pointing his bat, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he actually knew he was about to hit a home run. While the performance of the gesture itself is not up for debate, the gesture's meaning is.
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  • What is the umpire salary in the MLB?

    Q: What is the umpire salary in the MLB?

    A: According to the MLB's official site, the starting salary for an MLB umpire is $120,000 annually as of 2014. Senior MLB umpires make as much as $350,000 annually.
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  • Who has the most career postseason home runs?

    Q: Who has the most career postseason home runs?

    A: As of 2014, Manny Ramirez holds the record for most career postseason home runs in the MLB. He has hit 29. Second-most on the list is 22, a figure reached by Bernie Williams.
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  • Why is the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown?

    Q: Why is the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown?

    A: Cooperstown, New York is widely believed to be the birthplace of the sport of baseball, making it a suitable site for the sport's Hall of Fame. While some sources discredit the small town's status as the actual birthplace of the sport, Major League Baseball continues to promote the town's mythical status.
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  • Why is baseball America's favorite pastime?

    Q: Why is baseball America's favorite pastime?

    A: Americans began playing baseball in backyards and fields throughout America in the mid-1800s but started regarding the sport as the nation's favorite pastime in the 1920s, thanks to construction of large ballparks, radio and newspaper sports coverage, and a sense of pride in regional teams. The sport soon became popular in cities and rural areas alike. It also began attracting Americans of all demographics.
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  • Why did the Red Sox trade Babe Ruth?

    Q: Why did the Red Sox trade Babe Ruth?

    A: The Boston Red Sox traded Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees because the pitcher and outfielder demanded more money than Boston's ownership was willing to pay. On Dec. 26, 1919, the Yankees purchased Ruth's contract for $125,000 and $300,000 in loans. The trade, and subsequent inability to win the World Series for more than 80 years, was known as "The Curse of the Bambino."
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  • How did World War II affect spring training?

    Q: How did World War II affect spring training?

    A: Though professional baseball was allowed to continue and spring training did take place throughout World War II, teams were required to train much closer to their home cities instead of traveling south. These travel restrictions allowed the railway system to be used for transporting soldiers and supplies around the country.
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  • How many MLB players have been caught using a corked bat?

    Q: How many MLB players have been caught using a corked bat?

    A: Between 1970 and 2003, six major league baseball players in the United States were caught using corked bats. As of 2015, Sammy Sosa was the last pro player to be caught using a corked bat, for which he was suspended for eight games in 2003.
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  • Why were Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays banned from baseball?

    Q: Why were Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays banned from baseball?

    A: In the 1980s, retired professional baseball players Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays were banned from professional baseball because they had side jobs working at casinos. Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn had both men placed on a list of "permanently ineligible" pro ball players as a result of this work.
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  • How long does a baseball rain delay last, before the game must be called off?

    Q: How long does a baseball rain delay last, before the game must be called off?

    A: A rain delay must last at least 30 minutes, before the umpire cancels the game. According to Major League Baseball, until the beginning of a game, the home manager reserves the right to delay or cancel the game. After the beginning of the game, this responsibility shifts to the umpires.
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  • What is the Steroid Era?

    Q: What is the Steroid Era?

    A: The "steroid era" is a colloquial term applied to a period of time in the late 20th and early 21st centuries when performance-enhancing drug (PED) use was widespread in American professional baseball. While only a few players actually admitted or can be proved to have used PEDs during this time, accusations of use and public speculation was widespread.
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  • What did Jackie Robinson accomplish?

    Q: What did Jackie Robinson accomplish?

    A: Jackie Robinson was the first African-American person to play in Major League Baseball since 1889. From the 1880s until the 1950s, African-American baseball players were, for the most part, confined to playing baseball in the Negro leagues. Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier on April 15, 1947, playing first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
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  • What does "RBI" mean in baseball?

    Q: What does "RBI" mean in baseball?

    A: In baseball and softball, an RBI is a "run batted in," and a batter receives one when a player scores after he is credited with a hit. Batters also receive one upon drawing a walk with the bases loaded.
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  • Has spring training always been in either Florida or Arizona?

    Q: Has spring training always been in either Florida or Arizona?

    A: Since its inception in the late 1800s and early 1900s, spring training for professional baseball in the United States has been held in a variety of locations, including Hawaii, California, Louisiana, Florida and Arizona. Some teams held spring training in locations other than Florida and Arizona well into the 1990s, though by 2015, all Major League Baseball teams undertake spring training either in Florida (Grapefruit League) or Arizona (Cactus League).
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  • When was the first MLB night game?

    Q: When was the first MLB night game?

    A: On May 24, 1935, Major League Baseball hosted its first official night game, which was played between the Cincinnati Reds and the Philadelphia Phillies in Cincinnati. Crosley Field had recently been fitted with electric lights, making that the perfect venue for an MLB night game. The home team ended up winning 2-1.
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  • How many at bats are needed to qualify for the MLB batting title?

    Q: How many at bats are needed to qualify for the MLB batting title?

    A: As of 2014, a player needs 3.1 bats, or appearances at the plate in each game of the season, to qualify for a Major League Baseball batting title. With a standard season of 162 games, each player vying for the MLB title is required to make 502 plate appearances. Players who walk and do not swing the bat are still awarded with an appearance at the plate.
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  • What is the Pine Tar Incident?

    Q: What is the Pine Tar Incident?

    A: The Pine Tar Incident occurred on July 24, 1983 when a rookie umpire made a highly controversial call about batter George Brett's use of pine tar on his bat's grip. The call resulted in the revocation of a home run that Brett had scored, causing Brett to lose his temper and run out of the dugout to confront the umpire, Tim McClelland. This was just one element in a dramatic scene that also saw one of Brett's teammates attempting to hide the offending bat.
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  • Why is Pete Rose banned from baseball?

    Q: Why is Pete Rose banned from baseball?

    A: Former Major League Baseball player Pete Rose was permanently banned from baseball after a scandal focused on his habit of betting on games broke out in the late 1980s. Rose was retired as a player and working as a team manager when he agreed to be declared permanently ineligible from the sport in 1989. After having been a beloved figure in professional baseball during a career that spanned almost four decades, Rose's career ended in disgrace and public derision.
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  • What is the smallest Major League Baseball field?

    Q: What is the smallest Major League Baseball field?

    A: As of 2014, the smallest Major League Baseball field is Fenway Park in Boston, Mass. The fair area of the field covers 2.34 acres, significantly below the average fair area of 2.49 acres for fields used in MLB play.
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